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tv   Special Report With Bret Baier  FOX News  December 19, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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point. >> dana: did you see the video before just now? >> greg: who told you they were okay? >> bob: what difference does it make? >> kimberly: hold on. in an earlier story 40 cows died. not here. >> eric: all right. no cows died. sure they didn't, kim. that is it for "the five." tune in tomorrow. we'll have sitting here, next to us, bill o'reilly. >> bob: wow! >> dana: if he has to sit next to beckel or me? >> bob: you, not me. >> that is it for "the five." see you manana. ♪ ♪ >> president obama cites the connecticut shooting as a reason for republicans to compromise on the fiscal cliff. in a long defense of the white house offer. john boehner explained the plan "b" in less than one
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minute. this is "special report." ♪ ♪ >> bret: good evening. i'm bret baier. the battle how to avoid going over the fiscal cliff, ramped up as both sides were long on threat and short on movement. if negotiations go up in smoke, as you might imagine, both president obama and speaker boehner insist it's the other guy's fault. as he announced that vice president biden will spearhead the response to the mass shooting in connecticut, president obama hit with series of questions about fiscal cliff. >> if this has done anything, give us perspective. >> twice, he used the gun tragedy, plus sandy to sell the budget plan. >> when you think of what we have gone through over the
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last couple of months, devastating hurricane. now one of the worst tragedies in our memory. the country deserves folks to be willing to compromise on behalf of the greater good. >> in private, minutes before the news conference. the president top aides charge budget talks are coming apart. pointed a finger at speaker boehner. saying his push for plan "b" shut down negotiations on plan "a." major $4 trillion deficit deal. the president tried to tell the public it should not be about him. >> they find ways to say no. as opposed to finding ways to say yes. i don't know how much has to do with it's hard for them to say yes to me. >> that is shortly after the president said it was about him. and the wing re-election message about taxing the rich.
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>> we had extensive debate about this for a year. not only does majority of the american people agree with me, half of the republican voters agree with me on this. >> after the president's 35-minute news conference boehner responded in over 50 seconds. >> tomorrow, the house will pass legislation to make permanent tax relief for nearly every american. 99.81% of the american people. then the president has a decision to make to call on the senate democrats to pass the bill. or be responsible for the largest tax increase. >> boehner facing a big problem with his plan to raise tax rates on income above $1 million. despite claims by gop leaders it's not even clear he can get most conference to support any tax hike. >> what we saw earlier was an act of desperation. did i want look like to me a person to vote. >> the president hesitated when asked if he trusts
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boehner to sell a final deal to conservatives. >> sometimes, they may not see incentive in cooperating with me, because in part they are more concerned about challenges from the tea party candidate. >> as if on cue, two hours later, group of conservatives excoriated boehner and warning for republicans who support the plan. >> my answer is challenging, putting primary channels is yes. if the republicans support the tax increase, they will lose control of the house. in 2014 election. >> bret bozell charged he is missing the point, that the problem is spending. >> everything is a step backward for the republican party. piecemeal surrender. >> at a meeting at the white house this afternoon, business leaders and geithner and other top white house officials pointed out that boehner's latest plan has no spending cut no, entitlement reform and
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would leave unemployed, 2 million unemployed without benefit early next year. i am told that they want major market turmoil if they don't get a big deal in the next few days. >> ed henry live on the north lawn. more with this on the panel. >> systemic management failure responsible for lack of security. that is the headline out of a damning report of the state department handling of benghazi. chief intelligence correspondent catherine herridge delves in to the report on the attack in libya. >> the 39-page unclassified report in the terrorist attack is scathing. within hours of the release, three state department officials including lamb who turned down the security request and boswell are under pressure. stop short laying blame at secretary of state clinton. >> at the assistant secretary
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level, in our view, the appropriate place to look. if you like the rubber hits the road. >> it offers uncomfortable conclusion and undeniable tablets. that there was no demonstration prior to the assault. that the franchise are not dead. they found a new safehane in eastern libya. one security failure after another led to the deaths of four americans, including ambassador chris stevens. >> the conclusion was stark, candid and honest. told us the following: mistakes were made, lives were lost. lessons need to be learned. >> in the summer of 2012 the report documents 20 related security instance in benghazi, assassination attempt on the british ambassador. neither provided defense. the report state it was stevens' decision to travel on
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9/11. saying his status on the leading advocate on policy and expert chief in benghazi in particular caused them to giveus judgments. for the lack of military response the report claims that the system worked. >> there was not enough time for the u.s. military forces to have made a difference. >> the administration officials emphasize the letter to congress where clinton accepted 29 report recommendation no, denying the culpability. today they canceled the white house briefing as they renewed calls to appear on capitol hill. >> it's imperative that she testify in an open session. prior to any changes of the regime. that is very important for her.
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>> her testimony is key because only she can say why they favored a footprint in libya after a documented threat from al-qaeda and group was growing. tomorrow, two of her senior deputies will testify in her place. >> bret: she eventually has to answer questions about this. for the third straight day, funeral processions rolled through newtown, connecticut, after friday's massacre. police given no public intendcation of the motive of 20-year-old adam lanza clad in all black broke in sandy hook elementary school and opened fire on students and staff there killing 26 inside. a life-long resident said he may have snapped because his mother was planning to commit him to psychiatric facility. authorities have not confirmed that claim, yet. following the newtown shooting president obama reiterated he will use all of his powers, powers of his office, i should say, to prevent further tragedies saying today it shouldn't so easy for people to get their hands on assault
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weapons. shannon bream has the story. >> the fact that the problem is complex can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing. >> the president's newly assembled team of the cabinet members and outside organizations have until january to come up with concrete proposals to end another tragedy like the deadly sandy hook elementary school shooting. >> is not some washington commission. this is not something where folks are going to be studying the issue for six months. publishing a report. that gets read and then pushed aside. >> the team will reportedly look at not only gun laws me and tall health policies. republicans have yet to sign on to measures by the house and senate democrats aimed to limit cliffs that hold ten bullets at one time, they are
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quietly having conversations about what role they should play. >> we need to look at what drives a crazy person to do these actions. make sure what we are enforcing the laws on the books? >> as he proposed bold steps and promised swift action. mr. obama faced with a tough question. why hasn't he acted before now? >> this is not the first issue of horrific gun violence of the four years. where have you been? >> citing the councilmember economic crisis, two wars and the fight to pass sweeping healthcare legislation the president responded. >> i don't think i have been on vacation. >> many feel the president's resolve at this time will be welcome on capitol hill. >> the time is different because there is so much ange anger. when you talk to people there is anger behind their voices. why are we allowing this to continue to happen. >> the president was asked today about what role the national rifle association may play in the conversation.
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the president applied there are members that are mothers and fathers and hope they will do self-reflection. nra set to hold a news conference on friday. >> thank you. american officials might draw from the experiences of a scottish town that suffered an attack in 1996 similar to what newtown, connecticut, is currently dealing with. senior foreign affairs correspondent greg palkot has more. >> nearly 17 years ago, but thousands of milles away but parallels to what happened with newtown. gunman walked in the primary school there on march 13, 1996, killing 16 five and 6-year-old, teacher and injuring others and then turned his gun on himself. one killed was 5-year-old victoria clydesdale. although the scottish accent heavy, the father's memory was clear about the day the policeman told him the daughter was dead. >> i was total devastation. it didn't know what to say. i was screaming.
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i know couldn't answer the questions. >> residents like the residents of newtown were besieged by media. today, the reserved scottish are retie sant about the tragedy. a public way they worked through the grief is champion what is now a top nick the u.s. gun control. while arguably a country much less gun oriented and competition that claim the legally owned guns are not the principal problem, the grass root advocacy made all handgun use illegal in the u.k. >> most stayed after the killings. in fact, it's grown since then. those there now are writing messages to newtown and book of condolences. cappeddals lit every year on the shooting were lit again. their advice to get through
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the pain, recommit to family, community and religion. the warning is the loss never really goes away. >> she never leaves. she never leaves my head. >> residents have changes in school security and parental supervision. some things they couldn't change, which may be another tip for newtown. the school's gym where most of the carnage occurred was destroyed and replaced with garden of remembrance. >> bret: thank you. later we'll explain why it's so hard for the federal government here to keep spending under control. the next niece the series "the cost o spending." up next, another winkle in the fast and furious case. allegations the atf did more than just let guns walk. i always wait until the last minute.
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>> bret: say goodbye to government motors. critics nickname.
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treasury department will wind down the remaining snake general motors in the next year or so at what looks like a tax to taxpayers. this set off a heated debate about the government intervention. the government could be on the hook for $12 million. investigators say medicare is paying four times what the back braces actually cost. the inspector general says medicare and the beneficiaries could have saved millions of dollars if what the program played closely reflected the cost to suppliers. difference of more than $700. per brace. it's estimated the healthcare system squanders $750 billion a year, 30 cents of medical dollar of unneeded care, wasteful spending and fraud. annual slowing, setback of
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month of strong gain. worries over the fiscal cliff pushed the stocks down. it fell 99. s&p 500 dropped 11. and nasdaq finished ten behind. republican senator grassily now says the atf wasn't just letting guns walk, as part of operation fast and furious. but possibly buying guns. the proof he says turned up at a high profile murder in mexico. william la jeunesse has the latest from los angeles. >> the question is how did a gun belonging to a high-ranking atf official end up at a crime scene in mexico? november, mexican police got in a shoot-out with cartel and they recovered several weapons afterwards including a powerful semi-automatic pisto pistol, traced back to the assistant special agent in charge of atf in phoenix during the "fast and furious" investigation. he now works at the atf headquarters in washington. police trace a second weapon to betino, the key suspect in
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the case. now congressional investigators want to know how a gun belonging to the number two atf showed up at the same place, to be same place 1,000 miles away, three years later next to the gun of the felon he was chasing. >> why was the assistant in charge of that office buying guns in the first place? that would raise the question to the extent that person might be involved in the gun trafficking that was going on. profiting from it. >> among those killed in mexico was beauty queen gomez. they found shell casings next to her body. he purchased them at legendary arms a gun store. but federal form to buy the guns, gillette used the atf office address twice and mislabeled it as an apartment. on another occasion he used a strip mall. according to the law that he
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enforced, buyers are required to use the residential address. >> we did attempt to reach them via an attorney. >> they will seek a death penalty on a predawn raid in march. no date has been set yet. syrian troops are fighting rebels as the united nations looks for $1 billion to support the rising number of the syrian refugee. this appears to show a sniper targeting residents of southern syrian town as they try to rescue injuried person from the street there. a little later, we will examine the life of a controversial figure in washington. robert borg. next up, the series, "cost of spending" continues with a look at what lawmakers mean
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>> bret: you hear the word "cut" a lot in washington. but the lawmakers don't use the term the way you would. part three of "cost of spending" focuses on the inadequate solutions. >> the bowles-simpson deficit report came out two years and eight days ago. on that morning, democratic senator kent conrad painted dire picture if the lawmakers did not move quickly. >> i believe we are at a critical chunk juncture. borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend in this
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country. our revenue is the lowest in 60 years. the spending is highest it's been. that is not sustainable. if we fail to act, our country could find ourselves in acircumn action at the worst possible time. in the midst of a crisis. i pray to god we have the wisdom to act before that point. >> again, more than two years ago. the two commission chairs could not agree more. >> this baby apt going away. >> the plan reduces the deficit by $4 trillion. >> $4 trillion reduction in less than ten years. lawmakers called it a real start if it could pass congress. it never has. fast forward to the current
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so-called fiscal cliff negotiations. the deal on the table is smal smaller. yet the president wednesday said the republicans should be pleased with the spending cuts they would be getting to sign off to. >> it's a deal. they will claim they worked with me in the last years to reduce the deficit more than any other deficit reduction package. we will have stabilize it for ten years. that is significant achievement for them. they should be proud of it. >> clearly they're not. we are going to the debt problem. not solve it kicking the can down the road and doing gimmicks done in the past. time to address our spending problem. >> will either party dorph that? here is the reason why many are skeptical.
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in yellow you see how $10 billion of the tax dollars spent by the government in a day adds up to upward of $3 trillion a year. above that in red is interest on the spending. the hundreds of billions of dollars. when it comes time for washington to make cuts we lose the yellow, right? actually, no. you see the gray line? those are the cuts. the lawmakers slash money that doesn't cover interest when they have been cutting. we never get in yellow. >> the word "cut" is what the statisticians and the budget officials call it but it's slowing the growth.
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sometimes the growth is high. >> they assume if this year we spend 5%, next year is 8%, year after is 10%. why dent we cut percentage point off the rate of growth? 4, 6, 9, something like that. presto, that's a cut. that is not a cut. that is lower it growth. that is way the public sector does it. >> former democratic evan bayh. >> there must have been a passage that dealt with this. in washington, less of increase is a cut. though it's more money. no family, no business. no philanthropy operated this way. if you get 2% more, inflation is 2.2%, you still get more. but that is not the way washington works. the political reality that makes thing difficult. >> why not scrap the system a together and start from
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scratch or from zero. >> from time to time. there is suggestions made for zero based budgeting. you go back and start over. how much money do we have? how do we allocate it? if you do more, do more. but you don't judge yourself by some artificial and fictitious future escalation that may or may not be affordable. that is the way every business and family, every charitable foundation has to operate. good if the federal government did it, too. >> hard to do. delay look at it. who is giving us the best deal? the government assumes everything they do last year plus a percentage, that's how the got works. the reason they are not responsible for raising the money the way the private sector does. they can go to the taxpayers and say pay up or go to jail. of course, you can't do that in the private sector. public sector doesn't have the
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constraints, it doesn't have incentive to do this zero based budgeting to make the same decisions that all of us make. that is frank limb, bret, the reason we are in the position we're in today. >> tomorrow nice, best way to measure debt and interest rate and what could happen soon. how do you think of how they handle spending? let me know on twitter. president obama says the lawmakers are close to a deal on the fiscal cliff. but blames republicans for not taking his deal. we'll bring in all-stars early. yes, early. three segments. get in here. we're going to talk about it all. this holiday, share everything.
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>> when you think of what we have gone through in the last couple of months. devastating hurricane. and now, one of the worst tragedies in our memory, the country deserves folks to be willing to compromise on behalf of the greater good. >> tomorrow, the house will pass legislation to make permanent tax relief for nearly every american. 99.81% of the american people. then the president will have a decision to make. he can call on senate democrat to pass that bill, or he can be responsible for the largest
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tax increase in american history. >> bret: president obama with a long defense in front of reporters answering questions, about the offer that he has on the table. the fiscal cliff, that republicans need to take it and take it now. no grapevine tonight to bring you more on the back and forth. we will bring in panel in early. jonah goldberg. kirsten powers with the daily beast. syndicated columnist charles krauthammer. the president head interesting statements saying that the situation we're in after the connecticut shooting the environment that the country is in that americans should compromise. >> this is logical non-sequitur. like benghazi report proves we should send a man to mars. there is no connection between
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the two things. the assumption that obama is working from is only he is looking to compromise for the greater good. the only way they can prove they are going to compromise the greater good is take up the white house position. this is outrageous to tie it to the massacre. all the conversation about the massacre has been repugnant to me in the last week. but i don't know, i don't think this will work for obam obama. when he says the republicans are saying this because they have a problem with me personally. that is narcissistic and dog whist to imply malintent or bad motives on the republicans. >> bret: often as we do at this table, if bur george w. buh had said of a school shooting in his term after the school shootings if democrats would only sign this budget deal and compromise with me, what do
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you think the reaction would have been? >> most people would find it repugnant. i think it is. for him to attach the two things. there is nothing to suggest because of the tragedy, because a bunch of children were killed that people want a deal or his deal, i should say. on the fiscal cliff. he wants it to be over $1 million. that makes more sense. but said it won't pass the senate. >> bret: point that out. well, we have the sound bites and might as well play them. today, schumer said this. >> we'll wait to see if they pass it. no way the plan passes in the senate. no way. >> bret: in october, senator schumer said this.
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>> look, i have preferred the million dollar line. for all the reasons i stated. but to me it's far more important that the high-end people pay, help contribute to revenues than where you draw the line. >> bret: okay. so anyway. i want to just play while you are talking about it -- >> senator schumer's position is because he is from new york. in new york, cost of living is higher. $250,000 is not what $250,000 is in other places. the same in washington, d.c. i do think that it is a fair place to draw the line. it's just not where the president wants to draw the line. though he has moved his line. he has moved. let's not say he hasn't moved at all. it's come down on the revenues. come down, or up on the, what the amount would be taxed. so he has moved. >> bret: but not on spending cuts. charles? >> the president invoking the massacre of children to say
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the republicans need to accept his terms of surrender in the negotiations is not just non-sequitur. it's sackryally. it is at peace with the tone of the news conference. this is the way he conducts them generally which is he is excessively self-righteous. he talks about the other side being unprincipled, not interested in the national interest. slaves of ideology which he says makes no sense. as you mention, invested in opposing him. to the point they are willing to let the country suffer. combination of self-righteou self-righteousness and narcissism. unpleasant tone. there is no reason he can't either avoid that or give some credit to the other side for sincerity in just seeing different way to approach the crisis, the country has. i think that would be respectful. but a lot to ask of obama. he never delivers on that. >> bret: three panels tonight.
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plus the online show. what a bonus. stay with us. more fiscal cliff talk after this. okay, here's the plan. you have a plan? first we're gonna check our bags for free, thanks to our explorer card. then, the united club. my motr was so wrong about you. next, we get priory boarding on our flight i booked with miles. all because of the card. and me. okay, what's the plan? plan? mm-hmm. we're on vacation. there is no plan.
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then talk with your doctor. it's your adhd. own it. >> the offer of $850 billion in spending reductions fails to meet the test that the president promised american people a balanced approach. >> you have seen with the two clips we have shown entire speaker boehner press conference. 56 seconds long. the two statements together. back with the panel. four republicans, if they pass the plan "b," that is a big if. speaker boehner has to whip the votes to convince conservatives this is the right move to put the ball back in the white house court.
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is that a good move? >> they concedeed it would pass but if it didn't it would be a huge problem for boehner. he can't carry a big deal and can't square tri small deal. i get that the republican pa parly luzaida the brand as the low tax party because it favors enforces the bad situation on tax on millionaires that strikes me as crazy. the democrats have over the decades voted for tax cuts in the past. no one confuses them for a low tax party. they can keep their brand. it's the best possible deal. >> are democrats going to stick together and vote against this plan "b"? >> yeah, well, possible he could get a couple blue dog democrats. i am fascinated by this if
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someone looks on the outside. i don't understand why this is the hill republicans want to die on. a couple percentage point. in every poll, the majority of the country supports going to the clinton tax rate for those making over $250. >> they are saying the other side. spending. that the president hasn't moved one iota on spending. >> they haven't been that specific in terms of the spending cuths they want. i don't understand what they are doing. the fight is primarily over the tax rate. that where they put their energy. if i was them, i'd say look, obama gave on it last time. he won the election. everybody in the country wants this. >> every time speaker bane talks he talks about spending. >> has to go to this because he got nothing on spending. one concession that obama made is in the calculation of the cost of living adjustments in social security, which is to
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make it more accurate. if you want to protect from retirees, it's now a great concession on entitle. great cut. increase in accuracy. boehner has nothing on spending. not a deal. this is a parachute. one thing to pass where republicans escape the blame for the cliff. i wouldn't start by conceding on rates but once they have, do what boehner is suggesting. pass it and get out of town. >> bret: bottom line they have to do ton more. as we have been showing all week. >> it will be easier after january if he passes this. he has less leverage now.
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>> it's amazing that the republicans don't care about the sequester. they are willing to do in the sequester until january. i'm amazed it's not been folking point of any fighting. >> bret: next up. the damming report about the attack in benghazi, libya, on september 11. keep it here. ♪ [ male announcer ] jill and her mouth have lived a great life. but she has some dental issues she's not happy about. is
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we did conclude certain state department bureau level senior officials in critical positions of authority and responsebility in washington demonstrated a lack of leadership and management ability appropriate for senior ranks in their responses to security concerns posed by the
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special mission. >> the 39-page unclassified report on the benghazi attack september 11, out today. that is former chairman joint chiefs, admiral mike mullen. the bullet points from the report. first, no demonstration. prior to that attack. al-qaeda is not dead. there is a new safe nabor eastern lib yeah. systemic failures at the senior levels of the state department when it came to security, also administration relied on libya militia, outside contractors on the security. that was fault and 20 security related incidents prior to 9/11 attack should have been seen as far as warning. back with the panel. charles, you thoughts on this report? >> it's devastating. only on one aspect of what happened before. but it shows security denied. it shows that there were no preparations it shows also more broadly a complete sort of lack of understanding what
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was happening in the region; which was, north africa becoming infiltrated by al-qaeda. extremely insecure area. and they ended up doing nothing. the real question for the secretary of state is where were you when it was going on in real time? what were your ordinarys? but she is suffering from acute benghazi allergy, causing lightheadedness when she hears the word "benghazi" or is asked about it. tomorrow we hear if her deputy, but the but question of her responsibility, ostensibly she has taken in public is open and troubling. >> bret: they canceled the state department briefing today. no white house briefing today. the president was not asked about the benghazi report today. so we'll see what happens on capitol hill tomorrow. >> yes. well, it's interesting that that report you could have known all that if you watched this show. so funny they had to do an investigation to figure all of that out.
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they found nobody needed to be disciplined which is interes interesting. somebody today said mistakes were made but nobody made them. charlene lamb resigned appropriately. there were claims -- one thing that is despicable is they blame it on the dead ambassador like you didn't cry out for enough security when we know he did send the requests up the line for security. somehow it's his fault that he was killed. >> the other interest thing is that admiral mullen said there is not enough time for the u.s. military forces to make a difference. saying there is a 20 to 30 minutes with respect to mission itself to rescue or not rescue. however, the report goes on to say that there were 3-1/2 to five hours where they didn't know where the ambassador was. at that point they thought it was possibly a kidnapping
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situation. they didn't know that he was dead at that time. it's really quite something. >> there are details in this that will come out in the coming days. >> a funny washington thing. not quite a whitewash, because it's kind of scathing and damning but so diffuse and foggy and decision tree that it's difficult to have a clear narrative on it. it helps hillary clinton where they say look, there was accountability. and not provide much accountability. >> bret: we will stay on this story. final word? >> even if the press obviously has shown in this conference today they have zero interest in it. it is going to be hard to escape entirely because we'll have hearings. we will have hearings on the second half of this, which is ven dasty of what occurred after the event. >> that is it for this panel. stave tuned for a look at how the late robert bork changed washington.
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announcer: there are thousands of children in foster care who will take you just as you are. remember the online show follows us tonight. we leave with you this. loved by some, loathed by others. judge robert work was a conservative activist and political lightning rod for a generation. correspondent james rosen looks a look at the life of the judge who spawned the most controversial supreme court battle in history. >> do you swear. >> so epic and nafty was the battle over robert bork's nomination to the supreme court in 1987 gave rise to bork which the oxford dictionary systematic in the media to block appointment to office. >> while it was important inflection point
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inpolitically, what he did for the life of the law in this country and in defense of the constitution greatly overshadows that moment. >> a pittsburgh native, bork was an early law review opponent of judicial act very much. during the saturday nice massacre and watergate bork then the justice department number three official followed president next nixon's order to fire cox after elliott richardson and deputy had resigned in protest thus began the impeachment trial that led to nixon's resignation. >> conservatives had had a rather dim view of nixon he was probably the most intelligent president of this century. >> i today announce my decision to nominate robert h. bork. >> 45 minutes after president reagan sought to elevate bork kennedy launched blistering attack from the senate floor. >> robert bork's america is a land in which women would be forced into back alley abortions, blacks would fit


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